Best of SNO

Watching ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ encourages never-ending thinking about the film

By Madelynn Niles, McCallum High School

September 23, 2020

Kaufman’s newest Netflix feature has the heart of a soul-stirring poem and the darkness of a delusional nightmare. It is dismal, it is haunting and, to quote the female lead, it is “beautiful, in a bleak, heartbroken kind of way.” We begin with a snowy day in the city. From the get-go, Lucy ...

Travis Scott Burger Exposes Celebrity Influence

“As a Marketing Scheme, the Travis Scott meal has been extremely successful — an inexpensive meal tied 
 to a celebrity's name is bound to attract business. However, it's shouldn't be overlooked that it's extremely unhealthy,

By Maddie Glaum, Academy of the Holy Names

September 23, 2020

A week after its release, McDonald’s new Travis Scott Meal has reached unexpected heights: so successful is the new collaboration between rapper Travis Scott and the fast-food corporation that shortages of key ingredients have occurred in many McDonald’s restaurants across the U.S. While many may view the collaboration be...

The Candy Man Can

A new contest by candy developer David Klein is elevating the unassuming jelly bean to level of cultural hero at a time sorely in need of good news.

By Waverly Younts, North Allegheny Senior High School

September 23, 2020

Since its introduction to the world in the late 1800s, the humble jelly bean has been a notably popular candy. But its best days may lie ahead. In a real-life version of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, David Klein, developer of the Jelly Bean brand of jelly beans, recently launched...

A double standard in rap

Cardi B backstage at the 2018 Jingle Ball in Dallas, Texas.

By Catherine Mendoza and Samantha Loma

September 18, 2020

The hit song “WAP” by Cardi B, featuring Megan Thee Stallion was released on August 7, 2020 and was met by massive amounts of outrage for its provocative lyrics and subject matter.  As avid listeners to both female and male rappers, this made us notice a double standard in the public's treatment...

“The Lost Husband” hits number one on Netflix

Katherine Center's novel

By Cameron Ederle, St. John's School - TX

September 18, 2020

Three days after the movie “The Lost Husband” was added to Netflix, Katherine Center (‘90), the author of the original novel, woke to discover that the film had become number one on Netflix US charts.    Center said she was thrilled—not only because of the massive media company’s wide audi...

How local musicians have adapted to the ongoing pandemic

The nature of music, especially its live variant, has radically changed. How are local musicians adapting to the new normal?

By Daniel Bethke, Lincoln High School

September 17, 2020

For many, music is the primary form of recreation, especially if it involves playing rather than just listening. Recently, however, musicians across the globe have been jolted into a radical shift of how they perform or compose music, and this includes many musicians right here in Sioux Falls. Since...

Casey McQuiston’s ‘Red, White and Royal Blue’ is the romance read you’ve been searching for

By Jacqueline Barba, Downers Grove South High School

September 17, 2020

All other modern romance novelists bow down, Casey McQuiston’s “Red, White and Royal Blue” has come to sweep us all off our feet. With POC characters, LGBTQ+ representation and a picture of what American politics could be, this novel effortlessly achieves a modernity that feels natural. Lighthearted...

Logic revives his magic in his final album and bids adieu to his fans

Logic ends his rapping career with nostalgic tones throwing back to his debut into the music industry

By Ananda Mayuri Chakkenchath, Dougherty Valley High School

September 17, 2020

It has become common for many rappers to retire as they reach their late 20s and/or early 30s. Hip Hop star Logic announced his retirement with the release of his final studio album, No Pressure on Jul. 24, 2020. The finale goes back to his roots: with colorful, genuine lyricism and adept production from N...

“Hollywood pioneer”: Chadwick Boseman leaves a permanent legacy

Boseman’s short but legendary career acts as a mere stepping stone to a broader movement of Black artists, actors and creators as they pave their way in Hollywood. With every project he undertook, Boseman redefined the landscape as a Black trailblazer.

By Alysa Suleiman, The Harker Upper School

September 16, 2020

A superhero. Darting through the streets of Seoul, Korea in a sleek black vibranium suit, his lightning-quick punches delivering with the force of thunder.  The Black Panther.   Although the fictional world of Wakanda existed within comic books and movies, Chadwick Boseman led his life as the...

Book Review: ‘Midnight Sun’

The cover of Midnight Sun, book five of the Twilight Saga.

By Mickey Lonner, Amador Valley High School

September 16, 2020

On August 4, 2020, Stephanie Meyer released a new installment in the Twilight Saga—for the first time since 2011. The new novel, Midnight Sun, was met with curiosity from fans and critics alike, and received generally positive feedback. Whether or not you’re a Twilight fan, you’re probably fa...

‘Lasso’ way relies on exuberance to reel in audiences

SNL alum, Jason Sudeikis, stars in new Apple TV+ oringial series as Ted Lasso an American football coach turned Premier League Soccer manager. With new episodes Fridays, all are welcome to indulge in this heartwarming witty comedy.

By Grace Nugent, McCallum High School

September 16, 2020

My stance on sports-related films, TV shows, miniseries, or anything of the sort is this: if they are done well and with heart, they are engaging, amazing, and sometimes make you cry (or, in the case of Talladega Knights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, pee your pants) as the hero earns their long-awaited...

New and returning fans share in the excitement of ‘Avatar’

Fifteen years after its initial release,

By Shivani Verma and Claire Wen

September 15, 2020

Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. These lines from the beginning of every episode of the animated TV show “Avatar: The Last Airbender” are a phrase many students can repeat. The show takes place ...

A look into Taylor Swift’s unexpected album “folklore”


By Shivani Verma, Monta Vista High School

September 14, 2020

On July 24, Taylor Swift released her 8th studio album titled “folklore.” Unlike her previous albums, this album came as a surprise as Swift announced its release less than 24 hours before it dropped. Despite the lack of promotion prior to its release, “folklore” broke multiple records, becoming...

‘Black Panther’ star’s passing affects fans, leaves parents with dilemma

Following the passing of Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther, 4-year-old Drake Freeney plays with a Black Panther action figure. Ashlee Freeney, Drake Freeney's mother, said that having her son identify with a superhero that he sees as similar to him has been huge.

By Gabriella Winans, Prosper High School

September 11, 2020

Parents of young fans worldwide find themselves left with a decision, following the events of Aug. 28, the date on which well-known actor Chadwick Boseman passed away, after a private four-year-long battle with colon cancer. Boseman played King T'Challa in Marvel's "Black Panther," and with his death, moms and dads continue to consider whet...

This ‘Reflection’ isn’t a good one: Everything wrong with ‘Mulan’

You can buy and stream  the film for 9.99 on Disney+ .

By Ariel Oh, Downers Grove South High School

September 11, 2020

"Mulan" -- one of the most anticipated Disney live action films that quickly and rightfully went down the drain was released on Sept. 4, 2020 and streaming on Disney+. "Mulan" costs viewers a questionable price of $29.99--after you’ve shaved out an extra seven for the membership. And that’s not the...

‘TENƎꓕ’: Mind-blowing spectacle, lacking in emotional depth

By Caleb Jenkins, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

September 10, 2020

“Don’t try to understand it. Feel it.”  Over the past 22 years, Christopher Nolan has made a name for himself as a modern-day auteur in the realm of high-concept blockbusters. His latest film, “Tenet,” which was originally slated to come out July 17, finally received a wide release on Fri...

Small business owners grow community through local plant shop

The Famous In Oregon plant and hat shop brightens up the corner of West Broadway where Maggie's boutique used to be. Tanner and Erika Mitchell stand beneath the Famous In Oregon sign with their partner Bekah Hardick. Famous In Oregon opened for the first time on May 9, 2020.

By Christi Norris and Maddie Moats

September 9, 2020

Although COVID-19 brought about the end of many businesses on a local and national scale, the new plant shop “Famous in Oregon” in downtown Prosper grew within the community in an unexpected way. Beginnings View this post on Instagram ...

‘Chemical Hearts’: a paradigm of the male savior complex

Lili Reinhart stars as Grace Town in her newest film

By Gracie Rowland, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

September 8, 2020

Amazon released a new film called “Chemical Hearts” on Aug. 21, starring Lili Reinhart (Riverdale) as Grace Town and Austin Abrams (Euphoria) as Henry Page. The movie centers around Grace and Austin’s romance and writing, as they are both editors of their school newspaper. The movie contains fantastic...

A trip down Dart Bowl’s memory lanes

Talk of worn-in, laced-up shoes and discount deals spill from the front desk into the game and bowling areas on the final days before Dart Bowl's closure.

By Madelynn Niles, McCallum High School

September 8, 2020

Coach Amaro just wanted some enchiladas. He was the new guy on the block in ‘99, and didn’t know anyone in the area. So when a man approached him about his football team at the little old bowling alley, he didn’t think much of it. Who was that guy? He asked one of the workers there. Oh, he’s th...

Troye Sivan’s ‘In a Dream’ meets all fan expectations

With just six tracks,

By Elena Eaton and Mabrie Woods

September 4, 2020

As a sequel to the paradoxical yet harmonious union of melancholy lyricism and upbeat tempo featured in his 2018 "Bloom" album, Troye Sivan develops his sound by pushing the boundaries of indie pop in his 2020 album "In A Dream.” Starting his career in August of 2013 as a YouTuber, Troye Sivan quickly became loved by many. He debuted as a musician in 2015 with his al...

Taylor Swift shines while telling “folklore”

Taylor Swift's eighth studio album was released without pre-release promotion on July 24, 2020.

By Catherine Mendoza, Oakmont High School

September 3, 2020

The best thing about mystery is how much it provokes curiosity because we naturally want to learn more about things we do not know much about. Taylor Swift’s album “folklore” is drenched in mystery and intrigue.  Swift announced the release of folklore on July 23, 2020. “folklore” was re...

Netflix’s ‘Crash Landing on You’ humanizes North Korea

The cast of

By Anna Feng, Carlmont High School

May 28, 2020

Out of all the k-dramas I've seen so far in 2020, Netflix's 2019 release "Crash Landing on You" is by far the most unique. The series follows a wealthy heiress named Yoon Se-Ri, who lands in North Korea after a paragliding accident. She is found by Captain Ri Jeong Hyeok of Company 5, the military...

‘Mrs. America’ reifies relevance of ERA

Men and women polled by the ERA Coalition were asked to indicate the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with the statement:

By Sophie Casey '20, Staples High School

May 26, 2020

For me, “Mrs. America” is a gradually unfurling, forgone tragedy. I already know the ill-fated story of the fall of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). In the margins of a 10th grade notebook, I scribbled annotations on our country’s abiding inability to ensure equality on the basis of sex.  ...

What’s not to like about Project Daisy?

In a Shield poll on the MacJournalism Instagram account, 238 of 327 respondents said they did not support the initiative to hide like counts on other people’s Instagram posts. Illustration by Anna McClellan.

By Grace Nugent, McCallum High School

May 22, 2020

“He loves me...he loves me not” goes the age-old childhood game, also known as effeuiller la marguerite, which originated in France long before the thought of social media was born. The game involves picking petals off a daisy to find out if one’s love interest loves them back. But now it’s mostly...

REVIEW: Never Have I Ever: The other side of The Valley

Mindy Kaling’s new Netflix series “Never Have I Ever” premiered on April 27, 2020.

By Margaret Huang, Pleasant Valley High School - IA

May 15, 2020

The raunchy party game Never Have I Ever is best known for its role in revealing the most unsuspecting people’s most risque hidden sides. Befitting the divulging nature of the party game, Netflix’s new original series, created by Mindy Kaling, effortlessly delivers a refreshing take on the tried...

Stealing art does not just mean reposting

Art theft is a growing problem in the art community. Character thieves make subtle changes to a character to make it seem like the character is theirs.

By Miki Nguyen, Carlmont High School

May 12, 2020

When people think of an art thief, most think of either physical art thieves who steal paintings or people who repost someone else's art without credit. Both are harmful, but other types of art theft go beyond simply reposting the work of another without accredidation. Reposting is the leading way...

Welcome to the “dreamer’s hotel”

Enter Shikari, a post-hardcore band based in Hertfordshire, England, revamped the electronicore genre with their recent album, “Nothing is True & Everything is Possible.” From local politics in the United Kingdom to gun violence in the United States and global warming, this album encourages listeners to question the media and divulge in the sinister idea that “everything is possible.”

By Rachel Laposka, Starr's Mill High School

May 1, 2020

Musical genres are weird: there is a vast list of them, most of which are not as widely known as others. A majority of those genres derive from more commonly known genres. Ones like rock, pop, rap, EDM, and classical are often blended together to form a whole new genre. In hindsight, blending polar...

Tara Westover’s ‘Educated’ redefines what an education is

Tara Westover's memoir

By Jacqueline Barba, Downers Grove South High School

April 28, 2020

In the era of remote learning, where many students are finding it difficult to focus on school work, much less teach themselves new material, many are now struggling to understand what exactly learning is when it isn’t the traditional format they’re accustomed to. In Tara Westover’s 2018 memoir...

The truth behind the lights and cameras

Hollywood doesn't correctly show reality, which can alter perspectives and be misleading.

By Jessica Conley, Carlmont High School

April 27, 2020

Oftentimes, what is depicted in Hollywood doesn't accurately reflect reality. However, people sometimes base their career aspirations on what they see in the movies, as they tend to believe that the careers depicted aren’t falsely portrayed. This industry began in the early 1900s when Hollywood...

A guide to the poetic side of rap: the underappreciated lingua franca of music

Rap has many of its roots in poetry. The Sidekick staff writer Akif Abidi thinks that many overlook the artistry behind the writing in the genre.

By Akif Abidi, Coppell High School

April 23, 2020

“Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world...And makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” These are the words of Romantic era English poet Percy Blysshe Shelley. Since the dawn of time, poetry and music have held a special space in society. One could argue the...

‘Killing Eve’ returns with everything viewers expected

By Violet Jira, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

April 22, 2020

The game of cat and mouse is one we have seen a thousand times. From sophisticated dramas like “Sherlock” to Saturday morning cartoons like “Tom and Jerry,” the trope is everywhere and can sometimes seem as old as time itself.  Nevertheless, BBC managed to take the dry narrative and spin it...

‘Uncorked’ finally combats the issue of self-determination in the black family

By Madison Meeks, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

April 17, 2020

The black community has struggled with the concept of self-determination since Reconstruction. We see this in the history books with Booker T. Washington, W.E.B DuBois, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X. The black community has overcome a lot of external injustices such as hiring and voting discrimination and segregation. W...

“The Timing Was Right”: Bob Dylan’s Newest Release Isn’t a Coincidence

Bob Dylan released “Murder Most Foul,” his first original song since 2012, on March 26, 2020.

By Emma Chiu, Woodside High School - CA

April 15, 2020

If you’re looking for a cheerful pop tune with a catchy backbeat, Bob Dylan’s newest song, “Murder Most Foul,” may not be for you. But, in darker times—such as the current coronavirus pandemic—the haunting ballad provides an unexpected comfort. For Dylan, the songwriter so talented he won ...

It took Vega four years to make ‘Decade’

Daniel Vega plays the drums with his band Zlam Dunk during the band’s third tour. Vega said he wasn’t sure where and when the photo was taken but his best guess was that it was in Philadelphia in 2011. “It was the longest tour we ever did,” Vega recalled, “roughly five weeks on the road, living in a van and crashing on floors. Best time of my life, other than getting married and teaching at McCallum obviously.” The extended spring break gave the math teacher the chance to realize an album project that has been four years in the making. The album,

By Janssen Transier, McCallum High School

April 9, 2020

When current math and computer science teacher Daniel Vega started work with lead vocalist Charlie Day on the six-track album Decade, the world was still mourning the deaths of David Bowie and Prince, Donald Trump was making the late-night talk show circuit, you could still find crowds of people in the park hunting for P...

Conan Gray’s tribute to teenage angst, ‘Kid Krow’

By Lily Langstaff, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

April 7, 2020

In case you weren’t around in the indie pop scene in Nov. 2018, 19-year-old Conan Gray debuted his first EP, “Sunset Season.” Flash forward to March 2020, and Conan, now 21, just released his first full-length studio album, “Kid Krow.” From his YouTube beginning, Conan has had an incredible...

Donald Glover Transcends Pop With New Album “3.15.20”

Childish Gambino goes post-minimal for the cover of his new album, possibly as an ode to the Beatles’ “White” album.

By Logan Roach, Middleton High School - WI

April 7, 2020

After four years of anticipation from fans, Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino has released his fourth studio album “3.15.20” on March 22, 2020. Following his last album “Awaken, My Love” which featured the hit single “Redbone,” Gambino abstracts himself even further from the top 40 pop...

Was “Self Made” the story of a black hero or another political agenda?

By Cameron Thomas, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

April 3, 2020

To me, black history is an endless story of resilience--telling, no matter how far we are set back, we will always find a way to overcome. To the makers of "Self Made," however, black history is an endless fight among self. Though this may be true to an extent, using the over-sensationalization of the...

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness has taken over Netflix

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness has taken over Netflix during the quarantine.

By Jaiman White, Baldwin High School - PA

April 1, 2020

In the craziness that has become the self-quarantine state of stopping the spread of the coronavirus, Netflix has released the docu-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which has showcased crazy on a whole different level. The documentary focuses on the small but connected community of big...

‘Future Nostalgia’ is seamless combination of old and new

Dua Lipa released her sophomore album, Future Nostalgia, on Friday. A combination of both new and old sounds, it was preceded by lead single “Don’t Start Now”, her highest charting song in the U.S. to date.

By Anthony Cesario, Coppell High School

March 31, 2020

With the release of Future Nostalgia on Friday, Dua Lipa has done a full 180 on the term “sophomore slump” and created one of the best pop albums of the last decade. Far surpassing the quality of her 2017 self-titled debut album, Future Nostalgia lives up perfectly to its title by recalling the glor...

Megan Thee Stallion give her fans a sweet treat with the release of ‘Suga’

In her latest album, Megan Thee Stallion gets personal about her struggles.

By Violet Jira, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

March 30, 2020

Hot Girl Summer isn’t here yet, but new music from Megan Thee Stallion is! Nearly a year after the Houston rapper graced us with her first full-length project “Fever,” Megan has blessed us yet again, this time, with her album “Suga.” While this album was, by and large, very different from h...

Childish Gambino returns with mysterious album “3.15.20”

Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino) released a new album titled

By Jack Ging, Lia Reichmann, Editor-in-Chief, and Saba Ali, Editor-in-Chief

March 30, 2020

On March 15, Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino) held a surprise premiere of his newest full-length album by streaming it repeatedly throughout the day on The following weekend on March 22, the album was officially released on all streaming services as “3.15.20” with...

‘Kid Krow’ offers a poignant look into Gen Z adolescence

Conan Gray performs at U Street Music Hall, Washington, D.C. in 2019.

By Anna Feng, Carlmont High School

March 25, 2020

What do you get when you cross Lorde's melancholy with The 1975's sound and Taylor Swift's songwriting skills? Why, Conan Gray, of course. Gray's newest album, "Kid Krow," captures both the intense highs and lows of adolescence, from having unrequited crushes to losing bonds with best friends. It...

Out Of His “Idle Town”: Review of Conan Gray’s “The Comfort Crowd Tour”

For his performance of

By Taila Lee, Woodside High School - CA

March 24, 2020

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA— Sad, soulful, and sassy, YouTuber-turned-pop-star Conan Gray is a rising king of dream pop with his down-to-earth lyrics, comforting voice, and growing fanbase. Gray took the world by storm with his debut EP “Sunset Season” at age 20, and his poignant performance at the...

Harley Quinn dismantles the patriarchy with ‘Birds of Prey: The Album’.

The cover of the sweet, yet dangerous, 'Birds of Prey: The Album'.

By Mason Montano, Pinole Valley High School

March 18, 2020

Following the success of American superhero film Suicide Squad in mid-2016, DC announced a spin-off centered around the character Harley Quinn, titled Birds of Prey, which was released in mid-February and sees Quinn assembling a team of female supervillains after finding herself in the face of dange...

Overcoming ‘Brain Pain’

Four Year Strong, a melodic hardcore band based in Massachusetts, recently released their seventh studio album titled “Brain Pain.” The album is composed of 12 songs that discuss the challenges that come along with overcoming insecurities and anxieties that plague people in their day-to-day lives.

By Rachel Laposka, Starr's Mill High School

March 16, 2020

Melodic hardcore is a genre not many people are familiar with by name. Deriving from skate punk, the genre incorporates sounds from punk rock and hardcore punk, blending harsh and gritty vocals with melodic guitar riffs. Bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Killswitch Engaged set the bar for the broad genre...

‘American Dirt’ book whitewashes experience of Mexican immigrants


By Jacqueline Barba, Downers Grove South High School

March 16, 2020

“American Dirt,” written by Jeanine Cummins proves that writing about experiences you can only imagine is never the foundation for good writing. The novel tells the story of Lydia and Luca, the wife and child of a murdered journalist from Mexico, as they attempt to cross the border to the U.S. Described...

Miss Anthropocene by Grimes – Review

The album art to Grimes' first studio since 2015 album, Miss Anthropocene

By James Martini, Jesuit High School

March 13, 2020

In February of this year, Canadian artist Grimes released her fifth studio album, Miss Anthropocene, her first release since her 2015 album Art Angels. Her latest release features heavy, electronic sounds and dark, morbid lyrics and imagery to criticize the way people have abandoned their values in favor...

Can I steal for you a sec?

By Bella Grumet, Walt Whitman High School

March 12, 2020

When I asked my parents if I could watch “The Bachelor” during my freshman year, their answer was an immediate and definitive no. They believed the show promoted promiscuity and toxic masculinity; they wanted to shelter me from that kind of negative influence. Little did they know, I didn't need...

A Better Place

By Julia Poppa, North Allegheny Senior High School

March 12, 2020

I’ve had my fair share of existential crises: nights spent in bed staring at the ceiling wondering about the significance of my life and contemplating some of life’s most notorious unanswered questions. But what I have realized is that our biggest questions do not lie within the size of the universe...

EXCLUSIVE: That Kid spills the tea on his upcoming debut mixtape, ‘Crush’.

That Kid as he appears in one of his Instagram posts.

By Mason Montano, Pinole Valley High School

March 11, 2020

Last week, American singer-songwriter and hyper pop star That Kid officially announced his upcoming debut mixtape, Crush. The reveal was met with much excitement from the underground pop community, who had been looking forward to the project ever since he began teasing it late last year, and over the we...

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